'Our policies can't meet an interdependent world's challenges'

From a comment by Mark D. Lovell of Rexburg, Ida., appearing in the Feb. 3 Congressional Record, in response to US Sen. Mike Crapo's (R-Ida.) request in mid-June for constituents to describe how high energy prices were affecting their lives.

From a comment by Mark D. Lovell of Rexburg, Ida., appearing in the Feb. 3 Congressional Record, in response to US Sen. Mike Crapo's (R-Ida.) request in mid-June for constituents to describe how high energy prices were affecting their lives:

"With respect to high energy prices, I am very disappointed that our Congress has shamefully neglected their responsibility to find a way to develop a national energy policy before we arrived at this rather extreme condition. Having worked as an oil and gas geologist in Houston before returning to Idaho, I know that it has never been a secret that our addiction to oil and natural gas was leading us into trouble as the opportunities to explore for large reserves continued to decline.

"As a nation, we have been so negligent about seeing past the next election that our policies do not seem capable of meeting the challenges of a world that is now interdependent in so many ways. It has been and still is ridiculous to remove so many regions of offshore from oil and gas exploration and development.

"[The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], in my opinion should be developed and if we are successful in finding additional resources there, used for strategic reserves because we all understand that it is not likely to be significantly large in and by itself. Why is it so hard to communicate to those who are extreme (including [US Sen.] John McCain [R-Ariz.]) in their environmentalist/preservationist theologies that oil companies can explore and develop resources with such a small footprint that the ecological impacts are essentially negligible?

"At the same time that I hear many in Congress calling for the rights to explore in additional areas, I really have not heard anything addressing the need to increase our refinery capacity or to deal with the myriad of gasoline blends that are required by [the US Environmental Protection Agency] that reduce efficiencies in refining, nor does there seem to be anything coming to rural America to help with public transportation initiatives.

"The federal government's overzealous effort to promote biofuels at the expense of food production seems to have been a huge mistake. Why was a similar effort of support not provided for oil shale or coal gasification, etc.? With new EPA regulations governing carbon output, it seems that we have added so much uncertainty into the business side of developing alternative resources that the risks may outweigh the potential successes."

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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